New Prime Minister

We have a new Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, leader of the Labour Party. She is 37 years old. She will lead a coalition party made up of Labour, New Zealand First and the Green Party. New Zealand First will have 4 Ministers. The Greens will also have some Ministers. At this stage we do not know any more details of the coalition agreement.

We have waited for more than 3 weeks for this decision. Neither the National Party nor the Labour Party had enough seats in Parliament on their own so they needed the support of New Zealand First. New Zealand First talked at length with both parties and decided tonight that they had more in common with Labour than with National. This must be a bitter disappointment for National which had more people voting for it than for any other party – 44%. Labour won 37% of the vote and the Greens 6%, not enough for a majority. The National Party therefore expected to be the government.

NZ First received 7% of the votes which gave them 9 seats in Parliament. It also gave them the power to decide which party to support. This is why Winston Peters has been called the kingmaker, or in this case, the queenmaker. He has chosen Labour and the “crown” goes to the new Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Note: Winston Peters is the leader of New Zealand First party


coalition – 2 or more groups working together

Useful phrases

• at this stage – right now but expect a change in the future
• made up of X, Y and Z
• to talk at length
• to have something in common; e.g.” We have something in common. We both went to the same high school.”
• a bitter disappointment – these words collocate (go together) meaning a very strong disappointment

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